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My 5 Tips for being BRAVE in 2018

My first article of 2018, Stop trying to be confident... do this instead in 2018 had people feeling relieved that they don’t have to be or appear confident to get ahead. For those of you who are ready to be brave this year, here are my tips based on my recent trip to New Zealand.


My family and I went to the South Island in New Zealand, one of the most beautiful places on earth. We went on a 6 day hiking trip through the Greenstone and Routeburn tracks. It wasn’t hard core, we had hot showers and meals provided each night, but I was worried. 2 months ago one of my knees froze such that it was painful to bend past 90 degrees. During the hike we had very steep steps of rock and tree roots. Going up wasn’t so bad, going down required me to bend and put weight on the knees a lot. Every night both my knees and legs got stiff and sore such that I had to ice the knees and massage wth anti-inflammatory balm.


Despite the pain in the evening with doubts about walking the next day, every morning, I felt ok enough to head off for another 10-20km of walking/climbing up and down. During the day, I knew I had a long walk and that the scenery was worth it. The scenery was so stunning and my mind was focused on getting to the next stop that I wasn’t thinking about the pain. What was interesting, though, was that after the 6 day hike, I struggled to go up and down a paved hill for even 10m in Queenstown!


Tip #1: Do something that matters, something that is worthwhile to you. It is easier to be brave and get through difficulties when you are focused and purposeful. Difficulties appear less significant. The ‘mind over matter’ trick really works.


Another adventure was the Canyon Swing. It is like bungee jumping except you swing 200m across a canyon after free falling for 60m. Last time we were in New Zealand I chickened out. This time I decided to do it. After writing the last article on being brave I thought I’d better live it myself!


Once I got all the harness on and hooked up to the ropes, I peaked over the edge at the 100m drop. I felt weak in the legs for a second. And before I knew it, the attendants explained a few things, cheered “you can do it!”, counted down “3, 2, 1… go… yeah!” and I had jumped off!


The free fall felt like 3-4 seconds, which was scary, but once swinging across the canyon over a beautiful sky blue coloured river, it was an amazing feeling of “OMG I did it!” and “How cool is this, I could do this again!” As I came up, the attendants and my family cheered with high fives.


Tip #2: Do it before you think about it too much. The more you overthink it, the more you tend to think of the worst case scenarios. Weigh up the risks but once you’ve decided to do it, do it sooner than later.


Tip #3: Have people you trust to support you. Have people around you who know what they’re doing, who understand you, who will genuinely cheer you on.


Tip #4: The first time is always scary, but there is always a first time so you just have to do it. My first jump, my first blog, my first book, my first presentation to 100+ people – they were all scary. Now that I have don’t these, though, they don’t feel anywhere near as scary as it did. Do it a few more times and you will gain the “I can do this” confidence. It is the only way to gain this real confidence.


We also went on a kayaking trip on Lake Wakatipu and as it was a nice day, the guide told us that we could jump into the lake for a swim. My family knows that I really don’t like cold water. I would never jump into a pool that is less than 28 degrees Celsius. The lake would have been about 10 degrees. The water was so inviting – aqua marine blue, pristine glacier water – so I took my boots and socks off and jumped in!


Tip #5: From time to time, do something you wouldn’t normally do and surprise people who know you. We can get stuck in a certain identity and way of being because of what we normally do and people expect us to be like. It can get in the way of us being brave. Shake it up from time to time to expand your and others’ perception of yourself.


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